Summer’s advent in India is not a glorious affair. The soaring temperatures, the scorching sun leave little room for thinking about anything else. On top of that, to the sheer horror of the parents, kids are home for almost a couple of months! While this also means no packing lunch boxes in hurry and nagging your child to get out of the bed, keeping them busy is a thing to plan for. Trendy summer camps with horseback riding and mountain climbing are in vogue for quite some time. They are expensive and promise to prepare your children for the exotic lives they aspire for. What if there was a way to involve your child in meaningful ways, without burning a hole in your pocket? What if there were ways in which our children could help save the planet for tomorrow? Here is a list of pocket-friendly summer vacation activities you can encourage your child to undertake, that will nurture your child and the earth for a better tomorrow:
Town cleanup activity
This becomes easier if you live in a community of apartments or buildings. Gather the children for a week of cleanup activity around the town. India has no dearth of unclean beaches, lakes, and localities. You can get creative, ask kids to design banners and posters for cleaner towns. Click pictures to your heart’s content and spread the word. If you are scoffing thinking this has no lasting effect, read this: How the Olive Ridley Turtles came back to Versova beach after a decade!
Challenge kids to fundraise for a cause they believe in. The amount can be minimal, but it will open their eyes toward social causes. Do you remember going to houses for collecting money for local functions or festivals? Only this time your children can go about houses spreading awareness for something they like: creating an animal shelter, or planting trees, recycling plastic or spreading education. Help them set a goal, guide them to create posters, materials, and challenge them to raise money. Later you can take them for a visit to charitable institutions and help them donate the money they raised.
Many nations across the world require a minimum number of volunteering efforts from a person to consider them for college admission. In India, it’s still not a mandate. But if you think of guiding your child to the global pedestal, encourage them to volunteer in local schools, libraries or charitable organizations. For example, if your child is a computer geek, he/she can help create websites for smaller organizations, or teach underprivileged kids to study.
Recycled Product Stores
Is your child crafty in the literal sense? Do they like to paint, create and build stuff? A fun summer activity can be creating a number of craft items using recyclable waste products around the house. Give them a time period to create fun items: cardboard cars, doll houses, paintings, superhero costumes whatever they want, using recyclable waste items. Give them plastic bottles, bags, old toothbrushes, empty cartons to create magic. In the end, you can host a ‘garage sale’ or even an online craft shop! Invite your neighbors and friends for buying stuff for token amounts. Part of the proceeds can go to a charity, while some of it can be a pocket money for your child as a reward of their good work!
Rainwater Harvesting Project
In some luckier parts of the country, it actually rains during summer. Challenge your child to do a rainwater harvesting project. Not only will that earn them brownie points from their school, they will learn an awful lot more than their holiday homework.
All these summer vacation activities will foster your child’s relationship with the society they live in, promote human interaction and open their eyes to many issues surrounding them. Such activities are fun ways to teach leadership and organization skills. And more importantly, it will give your child something fruitful to talk about after their school reopens.
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